Nathalie Ribette was awarded the 2020 Prize for “Culture – Lifestyle” (Culture – Art de Vivre) of the French living Abroad Trophy (Trophées des Français de l’étranger) by Courrier International and lepetitjournal.com in February 2020. The ceremony which was supposed to take place in March in the Quai d’Orsay – the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs in Paris – was postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Nathalie Ribette was awarded the prize for her activities in the musical theatre scene in Singapore, in building bridges between France and Singapore in the field of culture, but also because of her involvement in community outreach activities in hospitals in Singapore with programmes such as “365 Days of Music @ SingHealth” and “Music Fest @ SGH”.
Nathalie Ribette came to Singapore with her husband in the 90’s, leaving a position in marketing in France, and entered the world of musicals almost by chance when she joined the cast of “Starmania” – a French classic of the genre – presented at the Alliance française in 1998. Building on this life-changing experience, Nathalie joined entertainment group “Tina and the Turners” and the Stage Club, the oldest theatre company in Singapore, before joining the Singaporean theatre company Wild Rice in 2002 after her encounter with Hossan Leong.
After the successes of “Notre Dame de Paris” in 2002 and “No regrets, a Tribute to Piaf” in 2004 at the Alliance française, Nathalie Ribette founded her own theatre company in 2006, Sing’Theatre, of which she became Executive and Artistic Director. The original aim of the company was to present works inspired by French culture to the Singaporean audience. Maturing over the years, the company took root in the Singaporean artistic landscape and developed three pillars including the production of shows, the Sing’Theatre Academy created in 2014 and community outreach programmes.
As an Institution of Public Character (IPC), Sing’Theatre advocates for “engaging the public with current social issues in Singapore through musical theatre” and “perform for a better society”. After producing shows related to France such “A Singaporean in Paris” (2010), “8 Women” (2013) and “Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris” (2016), Nathalie Ribette staged works with a local resonance such as “Forever Young” (2017) and “A Spoonful Of Sherman” (2019).
The outreach activities developed by the company bring musical theatre to hospitals following the death of Nathalie Ribette’s friend and Singaporean actress Emma Yong in 2013. Sing’Theatre organized “MusicFest @ SGH”, a musical event held each year since 2013 at the Singapore General Hospital with 300 artists performing on 7 stages set up across the buildings of the campus. In 2019, Sing’Theatre organized “365 Days of Music @ SingHealth” which provided 10 institutions of SingHealth such as KKH, SGH and the National Cancer Centre with 1 hour of live music per day.